Ethernet TSN for the Industry-4.0

Ethernet TSN is the IEEE standard for the transmission of traffic with real-time requirements. Ethernet TSN plays a major role in the landscape of the Industry-4.0 for two major reasons:

  • Ethernet TSN guarantees real-time communication for industrial applications.
  • Ethernet TSN is an IEEE standard and benefits from a wide acceptance in the electronic and networks industry.

These two characteristics above bring many promising advantages, including a simplification of industrial communication infrastructure, cost reduction of industrial equipment, and -last but not least- an efficient support of use cases for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Many key players in the automation industry are already supporting the adoption of Ethernet TSN, like this article reports. We point to the white paper of Softing for a neat overview of IIoT use cases that benefit from Ethernet-TSN technology.


Ethernet TSN

Software Defined Networks (SDN) for IIoT deployement

Software Defined Networks (SDN) is an approach to network management that has been successfully applied to mission-critical data centers. SDN brings three major benefits: (i) it simplifies management and control of complex networks; (ii) it enables QoS assurance for different application; (iii) introduces additional features, like an increased reliability and self-check. SDN relies on a central controller, a communication infrastructure based on configurable network elements (typical configuration protocols are OpenFlow, SNMP, CLI, TR69 and others), and a set of software plugins.

SDN can cost-effectively accelerate the deployment of IIoT. Typical use cases refer to vertical QoS for bulky data traffic (e.g. predictive maintenance or multimedia traffic), enforcement of business policies (e.g. QoS for remote maintenance, isolation of controllers' traffic) and continuously monitoring of time guarantees and reliance.


Software Defined Networks (SDN) for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Reference use cases for Software Defined Networks (SDN) for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)


We are closely working with NEC Network Laboratories Europe to investigate the application range of SDN to Ethernet TSN. NEC built considerable experience in the deployment of big data centers with SDN and was one pioneer in the definition of the OpenFlow protocol and of the SDN architecture.

Our activity and further information

We analyze technical requirements on the new communication infrastructure for IIoT from manufacturing and automation companies. On this basis we can suggest how SDN can be efficiently applied to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

If you are interested in any information or possible collaboration, we would be glad to hear from you. We are based in Heidelberg, Germany, but we sustain collaborations world-wide.